When I was attending Towson University, I practiced martial arts whenever I was not in class (Why don’t you call me some time, when you have no class? (Rodney Dangerfield, Back To School)). My youth and free time permitted me to train as much and as hard as I wished. I always worried, however, that when I finally graduated and went out into the real world, that I would have a really hard time fitting training into my busy schedule.
Now, having graduated from Towson almost 10 years ago, I still find time to train, because it is one of my top priorities. I find the time to make the 30 minute drive from Timonium to Essex at least once a week to train at one of my instructors' schools. That is in addition to the training I am able to do in the evening with our adult students at our Timonium location. However, since my available training time is more limited than when I was at school, I really have to make every second count.
When I was at Towson, I could basically show up at the gym or school after my class and do whatever I wanted. I had plenty of time and I was rarely if ever injured. These days I have to be much more efficient and smart about my training. How can I maximize my training time while avoiding injury? It’s all about training hard but, even more importantly, training wisely.
I find that people (myself included) frequently underestimate or overestimate the amount of training and repetition that is necessary to develop the skill, or neural adaptation, that we desire. I used to think that 3-4 hour training sessions were the key to success. Now I believe the key is to train diligently for much shorter periods of time, on a consistent basis. Few of us have time to train 4 hours a day, but we don't need to in order to make progress.
When I am not training I often find time to read martial arts books or study martial arts videos.
These tips have helped me to avoid falling into the perilous “I’m an adult so now I don’t have time to train trap.”
Now, you may be thinking, "That's easy for him to say, he teaches martial arts for a job." True, but you might be surprised how big of a difference there is between teaching and training martial arts. Sure, they go hand in hand, and each can help you to do the other more effectively, but as far as the question of time goes, it can be difficult to do them both simultaneously.